Criminal Legal Aid

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Closes 21 Nov 2019

Introduction

What is Legal Aid?

‘Legal Aid’ is the term for Government schemes which pay for a person’s legal expenses if they cannot afford to pay themselves. Legal Aid seeks to ensure that people of limited means can receive the legal services they require and at the right time.

In the Isle of Man, Legal Aid is only available to eligible individuals for cases heard in Manx Courts. It is not available to companies or other organisations. If a person is eligible for Legal Aid, the cost of the legal services they receive will be paid by Government.

We have some Legal Aid schemes which are ‘universal’, which means that they are available to everyone, regardless of their financial status. There are other Legal Aid schemes which are only available to people of limited financial means.

What is Criminal Legal Aid?

Criminal Legal Aid covers criminal matters (e.g. theft; assault; serious driving offences) which are defined in law. When a person is charged with a criminal offence in the Isle of Man, the prosecuting authority is the Attorney General’s Chambers. If the case goes to Court, there is a prosecutor and a defendant. The defendant will be represented by a criminal defence Advocate (unless they choose to represent themselves). If the defendant is eligible, their legal costs will be paid for by Criminal Legal Aid (in full or in part).

Why is Legal Aid important?

The United Nations describes Legal Aid as an essential element of a fair, humane and efficient justice system. Criminal Legal Aid can help to reduce the length of time suspects are held in Police Stations in addition to reducing prison populations, wrongful convictions, court congestion and levels of reoffending.

Legal Aid performs a vital role in the Isle of Man.  It contributes to the smooth running of the Manx justice system, and it provides support for some of the most vulnerable members of our society. 

1. What is your name?

Giving us your name is optional. The consultation will ask if you have ever been arrested, so you may wish to consider this when deciding whether or not to provide your name.

2. What is your email address?

If you enter your email address, you will automatically receive an acknowledgement email when you submit your response.

3. Are you responding on behalf of an organisation?
4. Are you resident in the Isle of Man?
5. Which option best describes your interest or role in responding to this consultation?
6. May we publish your response?

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(Required)

More information

  • Publish in full – your first name and surname, organisation name, along with full answers will be published on the hub (your email will not be published) 
     
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  • Do not publish – nothing will be published publically on the hub (your response will only be part of a larger summary response document)